The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) just announced an agreement that would expand the generic top-level domains as early as summer 2012.
So there will be some new company for the old and familiar .com, .net, .info. and others. Applicants can submit their applications for domains like .coke, .nyc, .tennis, and similar as early as later this year. This could have lots of marketing value for big companies and brands. There can be security benefits as well.
All this comes with some hefty cost though. ICANN charges $185,000 per domain application, which typically must include about 150 pages of policy documents. Technical setup takes another $100,000 or so and upkeep can cost an additional $100,000 each year.
How about .PI?